Work Story: Drawing Happy Birthday Ousmane

Ousmane's pose has something truly independent about it.

Happy Birthday Ousmane

Happy Birthday Ousmane is the first drawing I did in the Happy Birthdays Series. The paper comes from a Nefit Bosch tear-off paper block. The block consisted of forty sheets of paper (when I started the project). And has a postcard size (14,63 x 10,46 cm (5.76 x 4.12 in).

Ousmane joined my art emailing list on 21 December 2020. He had posted a nice remark on my YouTube video under the name General Kury. Unfortunately, I deleted, by mistake, that particular video. And thus also all likes and comments, including his.—Yes. I make mistakes like these sometimes. 

And I cringe. However, because of this, we got to start chatting a bit. And this is how the Happy Birthdays art project more or less also started. 

He had written attentively, a caring message on YouTube.—To an event that had swept me off my feed. My art was stolen and exhibited in Israel without me know about it. And on 12 April 2021, I had a live radio interview about it.

I thought, someone does something nice, and then I delete it! And because of me, his empathetic message is gone forever, and I cannot bring it back. So I wanted to do something considerate in return. To perhaps keep this good energy and lose the bad. (Not reverse).

I noticed that his birthday was in five days. So I decided to make a small drawing for his birthday. But I needed some inspiration because I did not know Ousmane personally. We only exchanged some messages online. 

So I asked Ousmane, What is on your wish list?And how old will you be? He told me 33. And that he had a lot of wishes. He wrote he wanted to be independent, rich, and ECC. I asked him, what is ECC? And he sent me a voice message, saying it means extra extra. I asked Extra Extra C…? He wrote back, Yes.

I checked his Instagram and saw a photo of him where he was doing yoga. Or was he dancing? Either way, the pose was remarkable and had something truly independent about it. And it also expressed the joy of the body. Something free and again positive. So I used this photo to make his drawing. 

His age 33 look like butterflies when you flip the number 3 of 33 around. The butterflies also make it look like he is doing his pose (his independent thing) outside, open in the world. And there are several butterflies, representing the time that flies. And hopefully, with many more years to come.

His posture is hovering feeds up over the words rich rich rich. These words come from his base. His ground. On which he is close. He only needs to land his feed on the earth. And he lands on rich rich rich.

I wrote 6 May in Duch. Another error. But I left it since we spoke several languages. And we have not understood each other fully. For example, I still don’t know what the C represents in EEC–> extra extra C. Which is okay. Some mystery can stay. 

When his drawing was ready, I made a video where I sang Happy Birthday to him and showed him his Happy Birthday drawing. I placed the video on YouTube. And then close to midnight, at 23:47, on 5 May, going to 6 May, I wrote: I have something special I want to show you. It is for your birthday.

I had scheduled his video for exactly midnight. And I send him the YouTube premiere link. He was still awake so we celebrated his transition from going from 32 to 33.

New Project

Then one week later, I also showed the YouTube video to the people on my art mailing list. I presented it as my new art project. And I offered to make more Happy Birthday drawings to those who would like to have a Happy Birthday drawing made for their birthday. 

And the positive energy kept on going since thereafter I made a drawing for Peter, Kadir and Ankit. And upcoming are Monika and Alejandro Ninin.

When is your Birthday?

The Happy Birthday Drawings are part of an ongoing art project, where I make small drawings for people for their birthdays. I then send a YouTube video. In where I sing Happy Birthday and show their drawing.

Would you also like to have a drawing made for you on your birthday? 

Then please email me

⟶ Your day of birth

⟶ How old you are going to be (optional)

⟶ A photo of you (optional)

⟶ What your birthday wish is (optional)

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